Last year, the third Divergent movie, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, was such a huge disappointment at the box office that Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment completely abandoned the planned fourth movie that would have wrapped up the franchise. In a somewhat desperate move, the studios floated the idea of turning Divergent into a TV series as a way to conclude the cinematic storyline and draw more blood from a stone. It took over a year, but that idea has finally gained some traction.
Deadline is reporting that STARZ is developing Ascendant, a TV series set in the world of The Divergent Series. It is worth noting that Adam Cozad and Lee Toland Krieger are attached to Ascendant as the screenwriter and director, respectively. Both Cozad and Krieger were originally slated to perform the same duties on the fourth Divergent movie, but it is unknown if it is still intended to function as a sequel to the films.
However, we wouldn’t bet on anyone from the main cast to reprise their roles on television, even if STARZ is one of the premium cable channels. Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and other cast members from the films definitely seemed very uninterested in the idea of returning to their respective characters after starring in the three movies that came before. From their perspective, this would probably be a step backwards in their career.
That doesn’t mean that Ascendant can’t be a continuation or a sequel series. But the most likely way for that to happen is if the primary cast is filled by new performers, and newer characters are introduced to drive the story farther. That’s far from impossible. But the thing that Summit and Lionsgate appear to be overlooking is that audience interest in this franchise has already flamed out. It would take a lot to recapture that attention, especially if the TV series is less likely to be as lavish with the special effects as the movies were.
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